Chandigarh, April 16 (Punjabkhabar Bureau): The Special Trask Force (STF) constituted by the Captain Amarinder Singh government to combat the drugs problem in Punjab has successfully choked trans-border and interstate-border drugs supply lines, with a whopping 1277 NDPS Act cases registered and 1468 people arrested in four weeks, since March 16, 2017.
The cases and arrests are approximately double than those reported last year in the same period (March 16, 2016 to April 14, 2016), according to STF chief Harpreet Singh Sidhu, who is now gearing up to launch extensive operations to apprehend the big fish and confiscate their ill-gotten properties.
Armed with a multi-pronged approach, the STF, joined by various state police and intelligence agencies, has cracked down on the drugs trade in the state in a big way, virtually strangulating the supply of all types of drugs in the state, according to Sidhu, in a release.
Though the formal notification on the constitution and the terms of reference of the STF came on Friday, the STF had plunged full steam into acting against the drugs scourge since the beginning of April. The Chief Minister has given Sidhu a free hand to manage the anti-drugs operations as he deems fit to eliminate the menace from the state.
Amarinder has also directed the STF to launch an all-out attack on the big fish involved in trafficking and trading of narcotics in the state. According to the spokesperson, the STF, being personally monitored by the Chief Minister, has several major drugs dealers on its radar and is preparing to come down heavily on them in the coming few weeks.
Sidhu himself has extensively toured the state to brief and guide the district police on the action to be taken as part of the anti-drugs campaign. Officers and officials of known credentials have been posted in the STF to carry out this mammoth task.
Citing data collated by Sidhu’s team, an official spokesperson said on Saturday that 31.804 kg heroin, (including 24.4 BSF), 1.527 kgs smack, 2.272 kgs of charas, 81.99 kgs of opium (including 0.065 kgs by BSF), 2812.555 kgs of poppy husk, 169.223 kgs of ganja, 14.855 kgs of bhang, 34.911 kgs of intoxicant powder, 3201 vials of injections and 336314 pills/capsules have been seized as part of the government crackdown on drugs in Punjab in the period from March 16 to April 14.
With the crackdown by STF and other agencies squeezing the availability of drugs, prices of narcotics have gone up, making access difficult for addicts. Hundreds have knocked the doors of rehabilitation centres in these four weeks, with the STF now working on amending its rehabilitation approach to make it more humane.
The active cooperation of all sections of the society is being enlisted through awareness campaigns, rehabilitation of drug victims and prevention of drug abuse. Drug abuse victims will be encouraged and motivated to get themselves treated in de-addiction centres, said the spokesperson, quoting Sidhu.